July 14, 2024

Shigella Outbreak Associated with Wake Robin Retirement Community in Vermont

A Shigella outbreak at the Wake Robin retirement community in Shelburne, Vermont is being investigated by the Vermont Department of Health. The notice from that department states that more than 50 people are sick, but news reports state that the patient case count is now at 67.

Wake Robin Shigella Outbreak Vermont

Shigellosis is a bacterial infection that is usually contracted through eating contaminated food or drinking contaminated water. People can also contract this infection by touching contaminated surfaces or through sexual contact. The symptoms include diarrhea that is usually watery or may be bloody, fever, and stomach cramps. These symptoms usually begin one to seven days after infection. People can be sick for up to four weeks.

Shigella bacteria are shed in an ill persons’ stool while they are ill and up to four weeks after they recover. The route of transmission is fecal-oral.

The first symptoms were reported in early October. The outbreak really started growing in mid-October, 2018. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were notified at that time.

Careful attention to hygiene can help prevent the spread of this pathogen. Always wash your hands well with soap and water after using the bathroom, and after taking care of a sick person, particularly if they have diarrhea. If you are diagnosed, you should stay home from work or school until you have had two negative stool samples.

Wake Robin is working with the health department to find the source of this outbreak. The group dining room has been closed until the outbreak is over. The staff is being educated on strict sanitation protocols. All events have been cancelled, and staff are being tested. Some people can carry this bacteria and show no symptoms.

Shigella outbreaks are not as common as Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria monocytogenes outbreaks. There was, however, a Shigella outbreak earlier this year that was associated with Eric Gorbman Catering in Seattle, Washington.

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